Book banning occurs more frequently and more recently than many realize


The classic novel Black Beauty was banned in South Africa, The Hunger Games was banned in China, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was banned at schools in Illinois and Ohio. Since the year 2000, the Harry Potter series is often cited among the most banned and/or challenged books.


Story and photos by Ann Dallman

“Books light the fire—whether it’s a book that’s already written or an empty journal that needs to be filled in,” said the esteemed author Meg Wolitzer, known for The Wife, The Ten-Year Nap, The Uncoupling, The Interestings, and The Female Persuasion. But, when it comes to the subject of banned books, some people would like to set them on fire.
“A banned book is one that has been removed from the shelves of a library, bookstore, or classroom because of its controversial content. In some cases, banned books of the past have been burned and/or refused publication. Possession of banned books has at times been regarded as an act of treason or heresy, which was punishable by death, torture, prison time, or other acts of retribution.” (www.thoughtco.com)
Libraries across the nation mark Banned Books Week in late September each year. Last year, Peter White Public Library in Marquette set up a special display to give patrons the opportunity to browse books that were banned or challenged over the years.
Samantha Ashby, head of the adult services department at Peter White Public Library, said the purpose is “to bring awareness to the fact that people and groups do not have the right to censor reading materials just because they do not align with their personal philosophies or political agendas. The displays are always different, but the library always posts an informational statement about the how the content of certain books are ‘challenged’ in school and public libraries, but very few end up being ‘banned.’”
The library will create another display for this year’s Banned Book Week, Sept. 23-Oct. 6, she said…

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